Wisconsin bars reopen after stay-at-home order overturned

Posted at 2:25 PM, May 14, 2020

Several bars near Milwaukee immediately reopened for business Wednesday night, just hours after the Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned the statewide Safer at Home order.

More than a dozen customers were welcomed inside Limanski’s Pub to a sign on the door that read, “Please sanitize your hands upon entering and to remain two bar stools apart unless {you’re} from the same household.”

Inside the pub Wednesday night, drinks were pouring and patrons enjoyed the company of longtime friends. It was much-needed stress relief for regular customer Katie Koutski.

“I have a toddler at home and I’m a full-time nurse so it’s been very stressful and hard to not be able to go out and be with my friends and family at the bars,” Koutski said.

Owner Kathy Goedde said she reopened right after she learned the state Supreme Court struck down the stay-at-home order.

“I was watching the news, and I saw the order was overturned, so I was pretty happy about that, and then I just waited for the Tavern League to send out information and as soon as we got that, I mean, it was awesome,” she said.

Goedde said she reminded patrons to keep a social distance while limiting capacity to a third the bar can hold. Koutski said she didn’t have any concerns about catching coronavirus at the bar.

“I don’t think the risk presents any higher than me going to a grocery store or me being out in the community in any other sort of way,” she said.

A similar scene could be found just a few miles away at The Buzzard’s Nest. Regulars rushed to get back to their favorite pub.

“First thought, we flipped it right into the parking lot and yeah, we’ve got to get in and have a first drink,” said patron Matt Griffin.

Owner Larry Pryor said he’s well aware this opportunity could be short-lived if Milwaukee County places its own restrictions on local taverns.

“West Allis could come in, they could call us like they did March 17th or put something on their Facebook page or on the news or and say you have to shut down by 10 or you need to shut down immediately,” he said.

This article was written by Ben Jordan for WTMJ.